Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Spiegel of Life

This is rich.

Davids Medienkritik, an indispensible source for the anti-American bile that passes for journalism in the German media, wades through a four-part "Der Spiegel" article on the awful societal breakdown in America caused by rampant unemployment.

The entire package looks at the city of Kannapolis, N.C., which of course is implicitly presented as typical of all 50 states. David goes out and gets some numbers and compares them, and, lo and behold, Kannapolis hit a bad patch in 2004, which was when the vultures from Germany swooped down on them to collect stories. Since then, it's rebounded and current unemployment in its home county is now below the U.S. average. And at no time, even in the month "Der Spiegel" was there, was unemployment in Kannapolis as bad as it was in Germany.

I get e-mails from strangers all over the world, based on some Web sites I run. The ones from Germany, beyond all other, when they start to talk about America describe a land of nightmares I don't even begin to recognize. No wonder, with reporting like this.

Furthermore, David has picked up on the fact that "Der Spiegel," which offers an English language Web edition, routinely withholds its most pungent anti-American pieces from its English-only audience. So he contacts them and asks for an English edition, and they eventually put one up. Very nice, except David then catches them toning down the snarl in the transition from German to English.

Blogger brings the hammer down on old media, gets results, and keeps hammering. I'd call what he did here, going out and finding the rest of the story and presenting it, good old-fashioned reporting.